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Indians expressed fear and wonder at the sight of the big bird and the white winged gods.

Flying Over the Amazon Jungle

"If you are sincere in what you told my friend, and I think you are, you can have anything you want to do it with," were the words of a tall, gray-haired man who had devoted 26 years of his life to exploring and mapping the unknown territory in Northern Brazil.

My reply was, "All right, I'll talk to my former mechanic and see if I can locate a suitable plane and give you my answer in a couple of days."

I was discussing the possibilities of exploring the Brazilian jungle by airplane with Dr. Alexander Hamilton Rice, who has been made Vice President of the American Geographical Society and a Gold Medalist in the Royal Geographical Society for his accomplishments and contributions to science, all of which had been financed by himself with no thought of financial return for his work.

A few days previous to this conversation, I had met a friend of his, on board a steamer, bound from Rio de Janeiro for New York, who asked if I cared to do any more flying in Brazil. I remarked that some day I hoped to be able to fly over the unknown territories in Northern Brazil, explaining that they had held a fascination for me that was next to my greatest and most cherished ambition, flying.

Dr. Rice went on to explain what he hoped to accomplish on the expedition. Laying a map of this unknown region on the table between us, he traced with his finger the routes of his previous expeditions.

"This was as far as we could go last time," he said, pointing out the location on the map. "Here we encountered the warlike Guaharibas, a tribe of cannibal Indians who attacked us, forcing us to return down the river."

"The source of the Orinoco River has never been located exactly or accurately mapped," he continued, "and I believe it is possible to reach its source and map it by ascending to the source of the Parima River by way of the Amazon and its tributaries."

He went on to explain that he agreed with my opinion that a flying boat would be of greatest assistance to the expedition, in making aerial photographs and mapping the route, for reconnaissance and making sketch maps of the river ahead, and for carrying food and medical supplies between the supply bases and the advance party.

The next day I looked up my old mechanic, John Wilshusen, who had been with me on my flight from New York to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1922. 

John could sit down with a file and a piece of metal and turn out a part that many a mechanic might feel was an accomplishment with modern


Transcription Notes:
How do I point out that there is a picture?

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